A simulation created by researchers in Finland shows how a person’s cough can linger in the air for “several minutes,” potentially infecting several people in a store or supermarket.
Researchers from Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki studied the actions of aerosolized particles released by the respiratory tract when a person coughs, sneezes, or just speaks. Preliminary results show that these particles can last in the air much longer than previously thought.
“Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus,” said Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen.
“The preliminary results obtained by the consortium highlight the importance of our recommendations. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends that you stay at home if you are unwell and that you maintain physical distance with everyone. The instructions also include coughing into your sleeve or a tissue and taking care of good hand hygiene,” said Jussi Sane, Chief Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
“Based on the modelling of the consortium, it is not yet possible to directly issue new recommendations. However, these results are an important part of the whole, and they should be compared with the data from real-life epidemic studies,” Sane said.
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